Hola! I haven't been posting the final images to my FB album or my web for a few reasons...some of it due to just not taking the time to do so (my watercolor images) and most recently, because I am working on several all at once- mixed media style! So...please be patient...all the final fabulous (I hope!) Fridas will be revealed very soon...well...I mean I kinda have to, it's almost the end of the month! In the meantime, stop my my Instagram @artinw_damuse to see the pieces in progress...sometimes there are additional photos related to the work there that I don't post on FB or my web. -JLG
It's Sunday and I am hanging out in my pajamas debating whether I will spend this last Sunday before school starts just like this...or if I will venture out into the world. In the meantime, I wanted to post some pictures of my new classroom...just 'cause I am so stinkin' excited to have a classroom again!
After not having my own space for a year I know that I can teach without a classroom.
But...I also know that I really, really missed having my own classroom.
This might be one of the biggest art rooms I have ever taught in. No wait- it definitely is. There is a front storage closet as soon as you walk in, a gigantic rectangular room with a half-wall separating the front 2-D classroom from the ceramics 3-D portion, a huge kiln room, a big ol' storage area in the the back of the room, outside storage AND a cool patio area and picnic tables. The school is old...like...way old, established in 1922. I am not sure how old the building I will be teaching in is...but I am sure it's up there. I could not have asked for a better classroom, though, I love it.
Of course when I received my keys the first thing I did was go and take a look. After doing a touchdown dance and almost crying it dawned on me.
I had a ton of work to do.
And I had no idea where to start.
I started to feel overwhelmed. My first afternoon in the new room I spent the whole time trying to figure out the table configuration. This took forever. I know that I am an artist, but drawing it on paper doesn't work. A 3-D model of the layout and furniture would not work for me. I have to actually see it, which isn't a big deal...unless that means that I have to move heavy furniture, which I totally did. So for about three to four hours I just moved tables, sat in the chairs, looked at the room as a student and as a teacher needing to get to my students quickly...do they have room to work...can they see the board...is that a cuss word on the table...oh geez...I even consulted with my new colleague and thankfully he had some great ideas.
I did my best, and I will probably (definitely) edit and revise the layout as the year progresses (especially since my classes might be kind of large)...but that was my first task.
Next up for me was the front storage closet. I would have loved to go straight to bulletin boards and artsy decorating but I knew that this was more important. I needed to know what supplies I had, create storage areas for student work and organize my resources.
This task took me about a day and a half to complete. I started working on the closet on Wednesday when I went to school after my district meeting and by the time I left on Thursday I was pretty much finished with this second task. I need to get everything labeled and do some additional sorting but it's a start! I will write a post in the future about the storage area with information about organization...because it's going to be crazy organized...just the way I like it!
And I just kept at it. Sorting, organizing, throwing stuff out. This is totally my gig, I love doing this kind of thing. And finally I could get to the fun stuff, decorating and making the room feel more personable. I am posting a link to a wide-angle view of the room (using http://www.dermandar.com) as well as a gallery of images with some additional information.
...and there is still so much to do. I have a whole second half of the room to deal with...but not going to worry about that right now...but soon...soon.
I am a member of a group of art teachers on Facebook and it has been so inspiring to see everyone's photos of their classrooms...shoot, after not having a room last year I am just excited to HAVE one this year...so it doesn't bother me that I haven't been able to get in there and start organizing...all in due time. So I focused that energy on organizing and decorating my own artistic space..a place where I can refuel and stay inspired so that I can be the best for my students. I spent my last real day of summer vacation today in my pajamas hanging out in my studio space and it was a great way to end my summer!
One site that I have used a few times is http://www.dermandar.com, a free site for creating and posting panoramic and wide angle views. I know that there are other apps, site and programs...this is just another one. I haven't used it in a while and I had a little trouble getting my panorama to open up on my computer but when I viewed it on my phone it worked fine. Go figure. Anyway, I created a view of my studio using this site, just scroll over the image to see a wider view of the studio, taken from just six photos.
No doubt, there will be posts about my new school and lessons forthcoming...I used to post to a separate blog here on my site dedicated only to teaching...not sure if I am going to put that one back up or just include it in this here blog. But for now, this entry is about my creative space. Hopefully I can post some pics of my new classroom later in the week once I get in there!
Below are some additional pics of my new creative home, the theme is black, white with bits of pink and sparkle. Happy last day of summer to me! Yay!
So...I am actually well into the series...but spoiler alert, its all inspired by Friday Kahlo! I wanted to just take a minute and post a few words on where I got the idea to spend the month of August creating works inspired by Frida, I know I'm late in doing this but...ummm...sorry.
Here is the breakdown in photos;
Frida Kahlo has always been an artist that inspired me, but I never took the time to really read about her and to learn more about her work. So I am doing it. This month I am spending my time with Frida. I have additional connections to Frida and her work, which I will get into later...but for now...just know that fabulous, fierce Frida Kahlo is my inspiration for this month.
To kick kick off the month/series John helped me with a little photo shoot where I did my very best to 'become Frida'. I will post more photos from the shoot as the month progresses...but here is one of the pics alongside the photo that inspired it;
We were traveling when I started the first piece in the series, I started it from my makeshift studio I set up in NYC ...which was the corner of ShayShay's couch. But it really wasn't until we arrived in NJ for the second part of our trip visiting with Ed and Sarah at casa Ianuzzi. I had some time in the morning when everyone was still sleeping to sit and finish up my first three pieces, which are drawings of Frida in black Prismacolor pencil.
But on Monday the series really started to take shape...the fourth Frida...
For Frida number four I started to read more about Frida's life and pick out quotes that had meaning to me. One quote in particular was this one,
Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?
So I started to thing about wings.
And how to me Frida Kahlo's self portrait always show a strength in the eyes.
And I started to think about that strength being almost like a peacock, a beautiful distraction.
So then I made this piece, the fourth Frida. (right)
...since that piece I have been reading more about Frida. I found a few timelines that I am referencing as well as the work created during that time period. I have been putting Frida, or a woman that resembles her, in pieces that reference her own work. I am including symbols that relate to things going on in her life during the time/piece referenced. It's taking me a little longer. Some pieces will include quotes, some will not, just depends on the day.
Here I am, only a day and a half left of my summer vacation and I am coming home with stacks of materials to read and watch (thanks to my new library card, yay!). Total art nerd, love it.
I am going to try to put them down and enjoy these last bits of summer break....but I am so inspired by this series...and so excited about my NEW JOB (more on that later!)
August, you're lookin' good to me.
And like that, she was gone. July. Summer vacation- almost. But not quite. Not 'til after one more vacation. First stop, NYC. I am going to write a separate blog post about the AMAZING show at the MET...but besides that...we walked about 8 miles on our day in Manhattan (my feet stil hurt!). Then headed off to see our friend Scotty in Brighton Beach, right by Coney Island. Way too much fun...and, of couse, I set up shop on his couch to finish up my last two pieces in my July 'Makeup' series.
Like any of my collections, when I look through the pieces I can see my struggles and 'a-ha' moments. I always in my head am thinking about the pieces side by side, even though in reality the only place that the pieces would be viewed this way is digitally...unless I can find somewhere to show'em...(eyes mist over, looks away dreamily)
Wait...whaaaa? Oh yeah, finishing the series. For the last two pieces I was thinking that I spent all month focused on the idea of putting ON eye makeup, and lipstick...it only made sense to me that the last couple of pieces should show the makeup coming off. I was thinking about how my makeup smears, especially the eye makeup. (BTW...I am addicted to Coconut Oil as an eyemakeup remover. It leaves a slight oil residue that I just leave for some extra eye moisture at night when I take off my eye makeup...I could swear I saw some crows feet and I am NOT HAVING IT! Gotta step up my moisturizing game!) And...so that is why the last few have a light quality and also look 'smeared'. I literally took my hand and wiped it across the last two as they were drying to try and imitate the look of smeared makeup.
And that's it. July was fun. I enjoyed the series and ending the month in NYC was great!
...just a gal trying to get this art out of my soul to share with the world on a DAILY basis...no big deal...check out my ramblings!-JLG